I love Thanksgiving . . . and really, who doesn’t love a holiday centered around food? I mean giving thanks. For food. And family. And farmers.
When my family first went gluten-free, it was difficult to find recipes that my husband and I loved as much as the ones we grew up with. Over nearly ten years of gluten-free baking and cooking, though, I’ve refined those original recipes into dishes that we truly look forward to (and don’t make us feel like we’re missing out at all).
You’ll find some of my favorites below. Also, if you’re carving up a pasture-raised turkey for Thanksgiving this year, keep in mind that instructions written for conventional turkeys can leave you with a dry, flavorless main course. Do this instead!
Easy Gluten-Free Stuffing
Savory sage and sweet apples make this gluten-free stuffing recipe a delicious alternative to traditional bread-based side dishes. It’s a must-have at my family’s Thanksgiving table. Here’s what a reader had to say about it:
“Everyone at our Thanksgiving dinner was surprised that it was not only bread free, but grain free. It tastes very much like my mom’s bread stuffing!”
Cranberry Sauce With Fresh Whole Berries & Orange
This sweet and tart cranberry sauce is so much better than the canned stuff you’ll find on store shelves.
I love its beautiful, garnet-colored hue and how easy it is to make. Plus, it can be whipped up in advance to make meal prep easier on Thanksgiving.
Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe
This soft, rollable gluten-free dough is made with ingredients that are pretty easy to find and yields a flaky, golden brown crust that my family loves.
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
This sweet, tart jellied cranberry sauce is easy to put together and makes a beautiful addition to any table.
I love pouring mine into mini-bundt pans to make them more decorative, but you can also let them set in a small, heat-proof serving bowl.
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Back when my family was on a healing protocol that excluded white potatoes, we fell in love with this recipe.
Although we eat potatoes now, it’s still one of my favorite ways to serve cauliflower. So good!
Gluten-Free Pecan Pie
The sweet filling and whole pecan topping in this recipe reminds me of the pies I grew up with, only without the corn syrup!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
Making rich, custard-like pumpkin pie from scratch is so much easier than you probably think, and so delicious.
“Cornbread” Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo)
This grain-free “cornbread” is so satisfying that I that I don’t even miss regular cornbread.
Actually, I think I like this recipe better because it’s pretty much mistake-proof.
More of My Favorites
Paleo Green Bean Casserole With Crispy Fried Onions from Paleo Running Momma
Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Onions from Garnish With Lemon
Dairy-Free Cheese Ball from Jessie B
Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes With Mushroom & Rosemary from Whole Kitchen Sink
What are your essential Thanksgiving side dishes?
Read My Comment Policy
I just made the Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and apples for a wedding on Saturday! We left out the vinegar completely and added a little honey and used honey crisp apples. It was amazing. People who didn’t like brussel sprouts were coming back for more. Great side.
Mae Annette Burke
Thanks for putting all of these in one place, Heather! We’ll be doing a few things with friends this year, I LOVE FOOD HOLIDAYS!!!
We did our shopping last night, luckily for us we had an abundant harvest and most the veggies will be from our cold storage and the freezer. I could not find gelatin, although every store had vegan alternatives (??) If that is not an oximoron I don’t know what is! Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday, and I’ll be honest, its mostly about the food and of course giving thanks for it. This year we decided to do a local food challenge, so just about everything is local (if not grown by ourselves). The only exceptions are the frozen peas that my husband can’t live without, the various nuts and the corn for the cornbread. We’ve also been picking out GAPS recipes to try since we are going to do the intro after Christmas.
We did our shopping yesterday morning. I tried out the GAPS-legal gravy (we’re not on GAPS per se, but I try to incorporate a lot) but I couldn’t get it to work. Hmm … I’ll try again before giving up though.
A GAPS stuffing would be amazing!
This is great! I’m going to go first thing wednesday am. I’m sure I will kick myself for that, but I have a few kidless hours to make it all happen then. Picking up my super expensive heritage turkey then too. My hubby nearly had a heart attack when I told him how much I spent – all in the name of Real Food! Oh, yeah, our oysters are arriving Wed from ilovebluesea.com too! Yay!
Love that you are eating locally Kristine Winniford! Our farmer’s market had nothing but lettuce, a few squashes and onions – hopefully next year I’ll be more prepared and store some of their summer/early fall harvest. And vegan gelatin – WHAT??
Anna-Marie Hizer – When you say it didn’t work does that mean it didn’t thicken enough? Although it will thicken some while you’re cooking and more as it cools I would say it’s not as thick as traditional versions. Since you’re not on GAPS maybe you should go for the flour/arrowroot just this once 🙂
Paul Hardiman – It is! We love our recipe!
Holistic Kid – You already ordered??? I haven’t even been to their website yet #onmylist #howdidyougetsoorganized???
No, it really didn’t thicken at all. I will probably go with the arrowroot after all, but I do enjoy experimenting!
Did any of you find good deals on local and/or organic turkeys? Is it even possible?
The two options I found were $50 and $90. As much as I’m trying to feed my family and myself better, I just can’t pay that much for one turkey. 🙁
Sarah Lenard Lancaster
Did any of you find good deals on local and/or organic turkeys? Is it even possible?
The two options I found were $50 and $90. As much as I’m trying to feed my family and myself better, I just can’t pay that much for one turkey. The local beef, free-range chicken, and hunted elk we eat the rest of the year is going to have to balance out the turkey!
Sarah Lenard Lancaster – Ours was about $60-75 (paid a reservation fee but I can’t remember how much), so I know what you mean. It’s fifteen pounds, which means that I’m only paying $4-5/pound (which is about what I pay for pastured chicken). Still probably not going to mention it to the hubs, though. At least not until after we eat it 🙂
Ours was local, free-range and was 2.99 p/lb with a $10 discount if you spent at least $100 in the store (not counting the turkey). Our 25 lber cost $65, which is still a lot but considering the many meals (only 4 of us for the holiday) plus all the stock (last year it was about 3 gallons). I figure we’ll get $$ worth. With some forethought you can sometimes do a CSA style turkey, this is where you pay an upfront cost (say $45) during the summer and a farmer will raise the turkey for you. Saves you $$ plus the farmer gets needed capital to pay raise his flock (most of which he will likely sell at a higher price to people without forethought). Personally I think a nice elk roast or some tenderloin is way better than any turkey.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on GAPS over the last few days and this is a direction we’ll be going in. I don’t want to go off topic, but will you or actually anyone else in the comment section be transitioning back to a regular diet or are you guys all GAPS lifers? 🙂 My husband and I last night were trying to decide what the proper thing to do is. Do you all feel better eating this way and it just becomes a no brainer to NOT eat another way? I’ve seen a few people online that look amazingly healthy and vibrant, and we need that! We’re not junk food people but for the sake of my autoimmune disorder, neurological problems, as well as another family member’s neurological problems, I think we need to do this very soon.
Anyway, now that I blurted all that out, even though Thanksgiving is over, I think we’ll do some GAPS recipes for Christmas. Thanks for sharing all your fabulous recipes, I can’t wait to try some.
Angela, when I broke down and decided I absolutely must try the GAPS diet in case it’s everything it’s made out to be, I committed to a two year stint. Pretty bold, I suppose, for someone who hasn’t “diet” successfully in the past, but I guess that just shows my level of desperation.
After watching videos of autistic kids on GAPS before and after, I decided I must give this diet a fair and legit chance to work. So I decided that two years is long enough for the collective efforts to compile and generate something I can measure and other people can notice.
I have made one major compromise that I kind of regret: Coffee. Because I was even more sluggish than usual after the Intro Phase of GAPS, I let myself have watered down coffee to help me perform at work. Unfortunately, coffee prevents the body from absorbing some of the key nutrients this diet is supposed to replenish, so I’m making this take longer to see the full benefit. I am seriously considering the move off of coffee, but that takes another leap.
As for how long we’ll do this diet, I would say that I initially wanted to give it 2 yrs to see results. If within that time frame I see results that are more than weight loss (I’ve lost 50+ pounds since March), I see no reason to stop eating this way… though I may allow myself an occasional holiday treat of some sort.
If it really transforms my ADD-like symptoms, then I’ll have no reason to ever quit. It will become a GAPS Lifestyle rather than a GAPS Diet. We’ll see.
Thank you Daniel for your reply. As I read through everything we are kind of on that road anyway since we’ve been moving away from processed foods for a year now. I thought the hardest thing for me to give up would be coffee too (my husband and I are coffee WHORES) 🙂 but switching over to tea was very easy. We mainly stopped drinking coffee because it cost us so much money! We freed up a lot of cash by not being tied down and a slave to Big Joe. LOL I do get sluggish if I don’t have coffee but the tea does seem to do the trick or I just deal with it. I’ve written a blog post about considering the GAPS diet and I’ll be publishing it tomorrow. My granddaughter Simone has dyspraxia, apraxia of speech and global apraxia, as well as life threatening multiple food allergies, being allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, all milk products, eggs…she also has digestive problems, acid reflux and constipation. I really started looking this diet because Simone has so many attributes of autism even though she hasn’t been diagnosed with it. Today she had her first straight up bone broth and she loved it.
I started making my own bone broth soups about 5 months ago when we gave up all processed bouillon cubes and store bought stock. One more question…I’ve read that bread is allowable after the two year period as long as its sour dough bread, do you find this to be the case?